Family Vacation – Reasonable Expectations and Flexibility

Family Vacation - Reasonable Expectations and Flexibility

Reasonable Expectations and Flexibility Can Create the Perfect Vacation

While watching television, you are bombarded with constant images of family vacations. Commercials hint at the picture-perfect family vacation while comedies reveal the tragedy of poorly planned vacations. The truth is, most family vacations fall somewhere in the middle, and the perfect vacation involves some unplanned moments. To make the most out of your vacation time, you should set up reasonable expectations before you leave and be flexible during your vacation.

Reasonable Expectations

Reasonable expectations may mean something different for every member of your family, and vary greatly based on the budget your family creates. To make sure all of your expectations are met, and none of you are severely disappointed, follow these hints.

  • Get every member of the family involved in planning. You should realize that your ideal vacation may not be very fun for children, and try to do at least one thing that each person of the family wants to do. This may mean making compromises, but you may find that you enjoy going to the skatepark your child wants to visit and your child might discover a new love for museums.
  • Plan for some adult time. You can contact your hotel to hire a well-referenced sitter and enjoy some time with just your spouse.
  • Create a realistic budget. You should know how much you have to spend before you start planning, and make sure to include emergency funds in case things don’t go as planned.


Flexibility allows you to take advantage of opportunities you did not plan for and can lead to some of the best memories you will have. Be prepared to be flexible regarding the following situations.

  • Bad weather. If your vacation is mostly outdoors, make sure you think of some activities to do in case it rains or is colder than expected. You should make a list of indoor activities near your destination, and perhaps pack some indoor games as well.
  • Sudden deals. Perhaps your hotel offers an excellent deal on an excursion you were not aware of before planning your trip. If your family is interested, be prepared to scrap your plans and go on an adventure together.
  • Tired children, or adults. You should avoid planning too many activities during your vacation. However, even the most relaxing vacation can be exhausting. You should check in with your kids, and if they are feeling tired, consider staying close to the hotel for the day. Don’t be afraid to cancel more exciting plans to stay in and watch a movie or take a nap together.

The perfect family vacation can only happen when you stop trying to be perfect. You must realize that your children will occasionally behave in ways you didn’t expect, and you and your spouse may not be able to do the same things you did together before you had kids. When you accept these things, and embrace them as a way to make your vacation more interesting, your vacations will start to feel a bit more perfect.